L'Abri Newsletter, August 2023

August 1, 2023

Dear praying family,


I am writing this letter to share of the wonderful things that God is doing. It is still my experience that when we seek the will of God with one heart and one mind through prayer, God listens carefully, anytime and anywhere, does not remain silent, and reveals Himself in His time. There is no doubt that God is pleased when we pray for L’Abri regularly or whenever we think of it, and whether we pray individually or in groups for it. Because I believe that God answers all prayers according to His will, I am sincerely grateful and happy for our prayer family who still continues prays for us.

We are finally able to start construction for separate male and female guest bathrooms, which we have been praying about for more than 10 years. During this long period of praying, God’s hand moved and worked all over the world, starting with a seed offering of $2,150 sent by one person, followed by a donation of $7,145 from members of L’Abri Chapel, and then with the legacy of Mary McCain from the United States of $30,000. I am amazed and dumbfounded by how God works. Apart from the prayers, all of this happened in the past two weeks. Isn’t it so surprising?

I can sense the Father’s hand in managing and maintaining this old building. Following the bathroom construction, we plan to finish the retaining wall behind Baekamdang, which could not be completed last time due to lack of construction funds. Please pray that God would manage and supervise all the construction from the beginning to the end so that the space will be safe, strong, and convenient.

Since the start of the second summer term on July 14th, many people have been visiting, even though the middle of the summer has been so hot that the ground steams if you sprinkle water on it. About 10 youth from Yein Church in Bucheon visited. They studied without hesitation in the heat and cleaning up the front yard, and when I heard them say they “experienced living Christianity,” even the heat wave felt cool.

From a pastor with a skin disease to a student struggling with mental health, everyone needed God’s comfort and counsel. It was truly heartbreaking to suggest helpful measures to parents who were finding it difficult to accept their child’s illness and current condition. However, I cannot deny that it was through the help of the Holy Spirit that the student recognized his condition and decided to seek help from a psychiatric hospital.

During this summer semester, many of our visitors were youth who have worked for the Lord with passion and fervent faith and who have experienced physical, mental, psychological, and relational difficulties or have abandoned Jesus or wandered away from Him. This makes understanding and analyzing the causes and studying ways to help more urgent and important. Please pray for the summer guests who will be visiting during the remaining two weeks.

During Bible study a few days ago, I read 1 and 2 Thessalonians aloud with our guests. The apostle Paul expresses thanks that the Thessalonian saints’ faith is “growing abundantly, and the love of everyone for you for one another is increasing” (2 Thessalonians 1:3). Even so, the apostle doesn’t spare making a few requests.

  1. Even though the Thessalonian believers are firm in their faith and love one another, they are told to encourage and comfort each other so that they don’t live contently on earth without hoping in the second coming of Christ and the resurrection of the saints.
  2. Paul warns that there be may some who are spiritually asleep and say, “There is peace and safety.” In response, he writes, “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, aa others do, but let us keep awake and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6).
  3. Paul warns against idleness by saying not to expect anything for free from lazy people or people who don’t like to work. Rather, they ought to imitate the Pauline evangelism team who worked night and day and were not a burden (2 Thessalonians 3:7-8). Of course, they had the right to receive payment for their labor, but the apostles voluntarily gave it up and preached while working with their own hands.

If we who live in modern times do not have hope for the kingdom of God and for eternal life, everything will be futile due to various limitations and death. The balance of encouragement and exhortation between members with Jesus as the head will also be broken. Please pray that the right and good influence of Christianity spreads throughout the land so that we and the coming generations can stand firm in Jesus.

After serving at L’Abri for more than 7 years, I will be leaving L’Abri to move to a new place and to fulfill the calling He has given me. There were several reasons for my decision to wrap up my time with L’Abri ministry. First, as a single woman working here, I experienced loneliness and structural difficulties. Second, I want to help sick teenagers, young people, and families by being in the field of counseling and welfare, which, by the grace of God, I learned about and trained in during the coronavirus period.

To me, L'Abri is a spiritual home that taught me the true truths that Christianity is life, not religion. Parting with the staff I worked together with feels like losing an organ in my body. However, as one body in Christ, we will continue to meet as co-workers who work for the Lord, wherever we are. I am going to apply what I have learned at L’Abri to my life, keeping in mind what Paul commanded the Thessalonian saints and living by practicing the Christian worldview.

I am afraid of transitioning back into society, but I am going to take things one step at a time as I rely on the Holy Spirit. I sincerely thank the prayer family for praying for me and giving me unsparing love all this time. It’s a pleasure to meet anywhere on earth, but if we can’t meet here, I hope to meet you in heaven.

Please pray for Tae-yoon and Hyeon-ji, the young couple helping this semester despite the heat wave warnings. Hyeon-ji is in her early stages of pregnancy. Please pray that she doesn’t faint in the heat and that both she and the child will be healthy. Please also pray for Deacon Jae-yong Moon, who cuts the grass of L’Abri’s large yard every other week. Please pray for InKyung and KyungOk, for staffs to work at L’Abri, and for me as I step out into society.

I hope the Lord’s peace will fill your family and the work you do. I bow my head in gratitude as I leave L’Abri.

With love,

SamWon Lee

Translated by Ye-Jin Ahn

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